April 24, 1857, was a Friday. Col Carmichael Smith, commandant of the 3rd Bengal Light Cavalry Regiment, had ordered 90 sepoys to assemble and use the disputed “greased cartridges” in Meerut.
The previous evening, the sepoys had taken an oath not to touch the cartridges. Thus, out of the 90 sepoys, 85 troops refused to use them.
This was the first mass opposition to British authority triggering the Revolt of 1857 our First War of Independence. On the anniversary of the day when the troops refused to use ‘greased cartridges’ I take the opportunity to remember martyrs of 1857 who laid their lives for Independent India free from the clutches of British Imperialism, they were Hindus and Muslims who fought against the enemies of the Nation.
Today the rememberance of First War of Independence is more relevant because we as a Nation have to stand together as Hindus and Muslims of India and fight the common enemy that is Hatred.This Hatred if not fought with unity of Hindus and Muslims can create havoc to our nationhood.
Athar Husain, CORD.